Goan Goan Gone

This is our last day in India, I am writing this in the international terminal of the New Delhi air port, I am with Alyssa, Melih, Michael and Jacob we have completed one lag of our 3 lag journey.  We are going to be in this airport for 10 hours before catching a 9 hour flight to London. This allowed for plenty time to reflect on the past 3 weeks. I don’t feel like I will be able to have a clear understanding for the course immediately afterwards but in time and through the process of making project 4 I hope to have this course fully debriefed in my mind.



We occupied our time with card games and come as well as looking at shops. This one store in particular was very cool, there was a reflection pond in the middle of the store and all of the product were beautifully made( and also very expensive) it reminded me of fabIndia or like an Indian anthropology.  There was 3 people playing traditional instalments and it sort of created an oasis of sorts within the airport.


Most of my day was spent sitting in different chairs and waiting in different lines, that is sort of the nature of travel. I have been trying to be productive on the flights but mentally I was only able to watch movies and relax. That’s the thing about long plane rides, they force a certain level of relaxation. I have enjoyed letting my mind think about nothing as opposed to trying to get my brain to balance so many aspects of your project. I am a little unsure what do with all of my extra brain space. I should probably reflect.


When I was on the plane to India almost exactly month ago I wrote a small list of intentions. I felt it would be better to go into this without goal presay because that creates a certain level of expectations. Instead I wanted to frame my mindset for the trip. I aimed to stay open to new people and experiences. I wanted to make my work a reflection of my observations not my ambitions. I wanted to excise empathy to help me understand the dynamics of a culture I knew almost nothing about. That is what I found most challenging during his course, trying to create something for people you don’t yet understand for a system that is new to you. I believe that it was a learning experience on many levels.

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I am really grateful for this experience and I am aware what a privilege it has been to learn through travel, I can’t wait to get back on a plane to go somewhere new.


Good Going in North Goa

I woke up this morning to a pretty wonderful view from our hotel’s balcony, I really wish I had had a bit more time to take another dip in the pool before breakfast. My legs were still a bit sore from the dancing of last night but that didn’t stop us from going for a walk around an old Portuguese fort. The view from the fort was really beautiful but the sun made it feel a bit like a frying pan. I sweated a lot. Speaking of sweat, India has  taught me a lot about why we sweat in order to cool off in the wind. Sweating indoors just seems wrong because your body is just like “this always cools me off, why isn’t this working?” Just something I think about a lot when I am sweating a lot.

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We got back on the bus and made our way to the Museum of Goa contemporary arts. Tragedy struck right before we arrived, my camera fell off of my lap and onto the floor of the bus. Unfortunately the glass filter on the lense shattered. It looks worse than the actual damage, since the lense itself is still intact. I assumed the worst, so I was happy to discover that my lens is still usable. (I only realized this at the end of the day and spent too much brain power concerned about replacing a lens)img_20170527_134848 

I didn’t have any expectations of this gallery as I know very little about Goan Contemporary artists.  I was immediately intrigued by the space the gallery was in, it was this gorgeous loft -like building with white walls and so much natural sunlight. I was also impressed by how accessible the work it self was, I don’t always “get” contemporary or modern art but I felt that the way it was being explained was very logical and intuitive. The artist/owner, Subodh Kerkar  would make works that played with material and historical contradictions to express the meaning of his work, an example of this is his piece tilted Goa’s Ark. This work is a play on the Christian story of Noah’s ark and a reference to event that took place in Goan history involving fisherman and statues of their Gods.


I learned so much from that gallery and was really inspired by our conversation with Subodh Kerkar, he really embodied the idea of taking your pleasure seriously in the at that he went from being a doctor to an artist and gallery owner. So many of the career opportunities he spoke about became available to him though his openness and willingness to take risks. Taking your pleasure seriously is something that I want to make a large part of my own life and how I go about my design practice.

We spent quite a while in the gallery, by the time we finished it was time for lunch. We went to a busy restaurant so while we waited to be seated I explored the other parts of the building along with Alyssa and Michael.


After lunch we did a bit of shopping/research, first we went to a shop called Sacha’s, it had all kinds of beautifully crafted objects. The owner of this store was telling us that all of the fabric that is used in making the clothes in specially woven. I was really impressed by the careful curation of the store and how intentional their design work was.


The second place we visited was called paperworks and it was a store which (unsurprisingly) sold paper! There were some gorgeous cards and notebooks, I purchased some wrapping paper which to me looks nice enough to hang on a wall. I also picked up a small block print to play around with, maybe for the project we are working on now and definitely for my own summer projects back in Toronto.  When we got back to Jasminn we had a bit of time to talk over the direction for projects and I feel confident in the place we’re at with it. There is a lot to be done in the next few days but anything is possible!


Meeting new people and learning new things!

We began our day by meeting with the owner of Oscar’s Junction Supermarket, one of the companies we will be working with over the next three weeks. He told us about the kinds of bags that he provides to his customers, how those bags are used and how much it costs to make them. We also discussed his customers shopping habits, in particular the frequency of peoples visits. I learned that there are a number of motivations behind peoples’ habits such as transport, socialization and daily wages. I enjoyed taking an analytical approach to grocery shopping, it is interesting to look at something very familiar and mundane then place it in a whole new context.

In the afternoon we visited with Tara Trust, they are an organization that aims to empower women and underprivileged children though creative expression. They focus on teaching craft skills to women and further helping to bridge the gap between the women and their potential clients. In this case Tara trust aims to bring work from the women they educate into upscale hotels in Goa. We were able to look at some samples of the women’s work, mainly fabric goods and rope or paper bowls. This reinforces the value and empowering nature of learning, as well as the importance of investing in women. 18574967_1382782625140807_1332590163_o